Making Country Music Trendy Again
Taking the country scene by storm, Season 2 of Nashville is well underway. The show continues to surprise with its soulful and fun melodies, bringing country music back into style.
At the risk of offending country music enthusiasts everywhere, I feel I have to admit something in order to do this article justice. I don't really listen to country music. There. I said it. But here's the thing: I love ABC's Nashville and the music they're putting out on the show.
More and more, I find myself gravitating toward songs from Lady Antebellum and even some from Tim McGraw. Call me nearly converted! Country music is changing — coming back into the spotlight with a new image thanks in great part to Nashville. Here's what Nashville is doing to bring country music back.
1. Bringing fresh voices
Lennon and Maisy Stella, real-life sisters, play Rayna's daughters on the show. They were discovered on YouTube and have become the breakout stars of the series. The girls have some serious vocals, and the show is worth watching just to hear them belt out a new tune.
2. Making the music more mainstream
Nashville brings country, but it also blends its songs artfully with indie, blues and pop, attracting a variety of listeners to the music. Plus, by doing covers of popular songs from bands like the Lumineers and the Civil Wars, the show gives a new twist to already loved lyrics.
3. Finding a new audience
Young adults are rediscovering country music. Nashville has found a way to get the music right, showcasing it in all the right settings that make it seem appealing and cool. There's something undeniably homey and comfortable about the music, making it really attractive.
4. Taking the music back to its roots
Bringing the characters to places like the Opry and the Bluebird realizes the scope and tradition of country music. It's a style that has been founded on years of success, and the show never ceases to honor and appreciate that history.
5. Grounding the art
Everyone on the show is struggling to pursue their passion. We see it from all angles. From newcomer Gunnar to already successful Deacon, the business of music is never easy. Because their fight is on full display, it's easier to appreciate the music when they do hit that high note.
6. Blending indie and country
Give me a Scarlett-and-Gunnar duet and it's a good night. I love the way the show blends these two together, giving popular indie songs a country twist.
7. Making it sexy
Gunnar is cute to begin with, but put a guitar in his hands and a mic in front of his face and I'm sold. That's the case for most of the cast, including the gorgeous ladies Rayna (Connie Britton), Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) and Scarlett (Clare Bowen). Though Juliette has her mishaps, the girls manage to keep themselves classy in the spotlight as well.
8. Creating country culture
From the old-wealth snobs to the struggling artists, Nashville covers all the bases and shows the ups and downs of both worlds. Maybe there isn't quite so much drama in real life, but the show does a great job of showing diversity in the market.
9. Making it about family
Rayna may be a big superstar, but her family comes first. It's one of the most endearing parts of the show. I like to think her life is really like a lot of celebrity lives. It feels real and authentic, and anyone can relate.
10. Bringing the music into focus
At the end of the day, the characters on the show really care about the music, and that makes the audience care about the music, too. Sure, they're fictional characters, but something tells me the actors and crew of Nashville are working just as hard to create a great product.
Images courtesy of ABC